SOURCE: PurePlay

May 06, 2008 07:00 ET

PurePlay Raises Series C Round, Bringing Funding to $15 Million

Financing Round to Support Largest Legal Play-for-Cash Poker Site's Rapid Expansion Plan

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - PurePlay, the first and largest U.S.-compliant play-for-cash online poker destination, today announced the completion of a Series C equity financing round. Led by Bay Partners, this round brings the company's total funding to $15 million. PurePlay investors also include Ron Conway, James Joaquin and other prominent Silicon Valley investors.

PurePlay announced in March of this year that it has reached a record 1 million players and it has given away over $3 million in cash prizes to date -- more than any other non-gambling poker site. The current funding round will enable PurePlay to expand its marketing efforts and build out its infrastructure to dramatically scale an already rapidly growing business.

"Our continued growth tells us that the online community is enthusiastic about PurePlay's legal risk-free, play-for-cash approach to poker play. With the completion of this funding round, we are now set to take the company to the next level," said PurePlay CEO Jason Kellerman. "Bay Partners, Ron Conway, James Joaquin and our other investors have deep experience in nurturing dynamic high growth companies such as PurePlay. We're happy to have them on board as investors and partners in our rapid expansion."

"PurePlay has built its reputation on delivering great cash prizes and providing thrilling gameplay in a no risk non-gambling environment. The huge and growing online poker community has made PurePlay the go-to site for legal poker on the Web," said Eric Chin, General Partner, Bay Partners. "Within the booming sector of online gaming, PurePlay is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of a realistic, competitive, yet risk-free, online poker game. We look forward to helping drive its next phase of growth."

Investor Ron Conway was the Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds between 1998 and 2005. He now invests independently as an angel investor. Conway is renowned for his investment expertise and insight -- as chronicled in the popular book "The Godfather of Silicon Valley." Conway was one of the first investors in Google and has a strong track record as a prominent and discerning investor in many other online start-ups. He also serves or has served on numerous boards and advisory boards, including Facebook, Plaxo, Anchor Intelligence, Associated Content and Zappos.

Investor James Joaquin is a seasoned entrepreneur with 20 years of experience building and growing consumer technology companies. Joaquin co-founded When.com, was President and CEO of Ofoto and Xoom, and is currently a venture partner at Bridgescale Partners. He is an advisor to many Silicon Valley technology startups and serves as a Director for Ritz Interactive, a network of top e-commerce sites including RitzCamera.com.

PurePlay, which hosts online poker rooms and tournaments, offers cash prizes to both play-for-free members and subscribers who pay a low monthly fee. Subscribers receive key benefits including access to cash tournaments with over $150,000 in monthly prizes, individual performance ratings that enable them to play with others at the same skill level, live chat customer support and no ads during game play.

About PurePlay

San Francisco-based PurePlay is the first and largest legal play-for-cash online poker destination. Through a patented business model, PurePlay enables players to compete for cash without ever putting their own money at risk. The company was founded in November 2004 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs with venture capital financial backing. The poker site, which launched in November 2005, has awarded over $3 million and today is the fastest growing legal online cash poker destination with over 1,000,000 players.

About Bay Partners

Bay Partners is a Silicon Valley-based early stage venture capital firm that has been building successful technology companies since 1976, and has funded more than 350 startups. Notable successes from Bay's portfolio include Brocade, Concord Communications, Exodus, Sonicwall, Placeware, Informatica, Weblogic, Digital Island and NetScaler. Bay is currently investing its eleventh venture fund and has over $1 billion under management. Bay has become a leading SaaS venture capital firm with notable current investments such as Eloqua, Xactly, Cornerstone on Demand and eProject. Bay invests in early stage companies either through the seed track ($250K-$750K) in bold out-of-the-box capital-efficient ideas or through the more typical early stage track ($1M-$7M) in early product development stages of companies. For more information, please visit baypartners.com.

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